Monday, February 9, 1998

Ontrack offers free data recovery diagnosis to California flood victims

Flood victims across California are finding their computers submerged and damaged, and their valuable data – everything from personal finance records to customer billing and database information – suddenly gone. But Ontrack, the worldwide leader in data recovery, just made recovering from the floods a little bit easier. Ontrack is now offering flood victims a free system diagnosis for their data recovery needs. The company also announced plans to donate 10 percent of all revenue generated from flood-related jobs to the California Red Cross. Both programs will continue through the end of February.

“We recognize the oftentimes priceless value of the data that is stored on the computers of flood victims,” said Michael Rogers, CEO of Ontrack. “The hard drives found in flooded computers may contain vital information needed to restart a business, continue corporate operations, or maintain personal finances.”

When users whose computers are submerged in water are unable to access their data, their first course of action should be to contact a professional data recovery service. Users should never attempt to operate or clean and dry a system exposed to water. Ontrack operates data recovery labs equipped with Class A clean rooms in San Jose and Los Angeles.

“When handled properly by a data recovery expert, this valuable data can often be recovered,” Rogers said. Ontrack engineers have vast experience recovering data from water-damaged storage media and are prepared to help flood victims regain the use of their data.”

Flood waters harm the data stored on hard disk drives, tapes and other storage devices in two primary ways. First, they cause electrical damage, which makes data inaccessible to the user. Secondly, when computer media is submerged in water, water may leak through the seal, spreading dirt and other contaminants onto the storage area. Tips for protecting your data and handling a computer experiencing water damage are attached to this release.

Ontrack can be reached in San Jose at (408) 573-9592 and in Los Angeles at (714) 641-0530. Ontrack Data International, Inc. (NASDAQ: ONDI), the world leader in data recovery, specializes in software and services that help computer users protect their valuable data. Ontrack uses hundreds of proprietary tools and techniques to recover lost or corrupted data from any storage device and operating system. Ontrack can be reached through its World Wide Web site at http://www.ontrack.com or by calling 800-872-2599. In addition to its Minneapolis headquarters, Ontrack operates data recovery labs in Los Angeles, San Jose, Washington, D.C., Tokyo, London and Stuttgart.

Contact:Brad Smith Shandwick612/841-6134bsmith@shandwick.com

Computer Users Begin Surveying Damage to Their Systems Tips for Caring For A Water or Flood-Damaged Computer

Storms up and down the California coast show no signs of letting up, continuing to pile up millions of dollars in damages, including thousands of computers that sit soaked and soggy in offices and homes throughout the state. Businesses and personal users are in danger of losing everything from tax records to vital customer databases as they face the daunting task of putting their lives and businesses back together.

ONTRACK, with offices in San Jose and Los Angeles, specializes in helping computer users protect and recover their valuable data and advises computer users to take careful steps to protect their investment, their businesses and their data. “Water can be your computer’s worst enemy,” says Stuart Hanley, vice president of worldwide operations for ONTRACK. “All is not necessarily lost, but you’ve got to take special care in handling your PC and hard drive to give yourself a chance to recover lost data.”

Hanley offers the following tips for caring for a flood-damaged computer and recovering lost data:

1. Unplug a wet computer and monitor immediately. “If you turn a wet computer on, you could blow circuitry or cause it to physically fail,” Hanley says. “It’s quite probable that your data will be unrecoverable after that.”

2. Never attempt to dry or clean the computer or media yourself. You should never shake the media, or in the case of your hard disk drive, remove the cover of the assembly. Never freeze or expose a water-damaged computer to heat. The best thing to do is to slip a damaged drive into a plastic bag (without attempting to dry it) and rush it to a qualified data recovery expert.

3. Act quickly. According to Hanley, the worst thing you can do is to wait for the computer to dry out and then try to operate it. Contaminated media require a complete and thorough cleaning from qualified experts, before they’ve had the chance to dry out.

4. Take special care with media damaged by salt water. Because data can be damaged more quickly due to the oxidization of salt on the media, damaged components should be express-shipped immediately in an air-tight container to a professional data recovery facility.

5. Never assume your data is unrecoverable. No matter what your computer has been through, there’s a good chance that an expert in data recovery can get some or all of your data back. “Be sure to follow a couple of simple rules and you’ve got a pretty good chance to save most of your data,” Hanley advises. “Never try to operate or clean your flood-damaged system, and always send it to a qualified data recovery company as soon as possible.”

ONTRACK is offering victims of flood damage in California free diagnosis for their data loss needs, a $100 value. In addition, ONTRACK is donating 10 percent of all revenue collected from flood-damaged jobs to the Red Cross of California to aid in clean-up efforts. Both offers are good through the end of February. ONTRACK can be reached toll-free at 1-800-872-2599.

ONTRACK Data International, Inc. (NASDAQ: ONDI), the world leader in data recovery, specializes in software and services that help computer users protect their valuable data. ONTRACK uses hundreds of proprietary tools and techniques to recover lost or corrupted data from any storage device and operating system. ONTRACK can be reached through its World Wide Web site at http://www.ontrack.com or by calling 800-872-2599. In addition to its Minneapolis headquarters, ONTRACK operates data recovery labs in Los Angeles, San Jose, Washington, D.C., Tokyo, London and Stuttgart.